Reinventing Myself: Realizing What Really Matters

This week marks exactly one year since our dog, Jack, abruptly left us.

jack-&-I

Appearing fine with the rising of the sun, by nightfall he was no more. That’s a grim progression to experience any time, but to complicate this horribly unpleasant and unexpected bump in our highway of life, Jack’s passing occurred the exact morning I was slated to leave town for three months of contracted work. My wife and I, heartbroken, left the veterinarian and, upon arriving home, tearfully hugged each other as I slid into my rental car, and left her forlorn and isolated in our grievously hollow home.

Intertwined throughout the choking weight of sadness I carried was woven a heavy rope of guilt. But what are you going to do? It was three months worth of employment, planned well in advance. If your occupation takes you away — even when it’s more than inconvenient — you’re bound to go.

Life goes on — so to speak.

When my travel concluded, my wife requested,

“I know you love what you do – and I want you to be happy. But, I really need you not to travel so often. Would you please try and earn more of your income here?”

I agreed, not only because of her request, but also because I had been growing weary of the travel hassles. Her vocalizing my thoughts cemented the decision. So, for the last several months, I have been “reinventing myself at 60,” not something I intended – nor something I recommend, but as they say, “Life is what happens while we’re making other plans.” Mostly, short of scurrying hither and yon sussing out new modes of income, I’m doing okay. To that end, I do more coaching, both in person and on-line. I’m producing my own local seminars. I’ve snagged more hours assisting clients with marketing and consulting. And, I’m pleased as heck that even after 20 years together, I really do still enjoy spending so many hours with my lovely bride (and how cool is it that she says she enjoys having me around).

Today however brought forth an unexpected revelation: The most difficult component of my reinvention is that I no longer know who I am.

[Read more…]

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Expect Success

What would it be like if you expected success?

Thousands and thousands of years ago, our ancestors entered a wooded valley with a river.

The optimists said, “This will be wonderful! We can build shelter by the river using the wood that surrounds us; surviving on the abundant fish living within our grasp. Life will be wonderful!”

On the other hand, the pessimists reply, “Are you crazy! If we live down here in the forest, animals might eat us or the river will could flood, or lighting could set fire to the trees and kill us all. We have to live at the top of the mountain where the animals won’t come, there’s no chance of a flood, and fires are less likely.”

Optimists: “You’re nuts! We have everything here at our fingertips. Why would be purposely make life more harsh?”

Pessimists: “A harsh life is better than no life.”

Finding no resolution, the tribe splits with pessimists moving to the mountain and optimists chillin’ by the river. Of course, what happens? [Read more…]

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Imagine “As If…”

Imagine your plans turning out exactly as if it was supposed to.

magic_wand

We all have our moments where we imagine how things can go wrong. Sure, “stuff happens,” but not as often as we think it does, and when it does, it’s usually not as bad as we thought it could be.

Picture everything working out the way you want it to.

Imagine how you’ll feel when you get what you worked for. Think about what the success will feel like. Fill yourself with the emotions and beliefs of accomplishment.

Even if it doesn’t turn out exactly the way you thought it would, you’ll still enjoy the ride much more.

(Besides, can it hurt to imagine the best?)

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Give More Than You Take; You’ll Get More in the End

Understand that giving take more strength than taking.

adult hand & baby finger

Yet the rewards are far greater.

Find ways to give more often.

Don’t get locked into the idea that giving is merely materialistic.

Open a door for a stranger. Let a car get in front of you in traffic. Pick up a piece of trash on the street.

Remember, if you don’t have money, give time.
If you don’t have time, give a smile.

If you don’t have a smile, ask for help.

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Getting Out of My Own Way

Of late, I’ve taken on yet another new assignment.

I’m “chat coaching,” a steep-learning-curve experience I assure you.

live-chat-keyboard

Should you be unfamiliar with chat coaching, I shall explain. I log into a website from my home computer, which is connected to a main server in cyberspace. On the other side of the void, should someone need guidance, they click on a button on their screen and their “call” is routed to me on my computer. He or she types. I reply via the same method. If you were asking, “Wouldn’t it be easier with a phone?” The answer is probably “yes.” However, that’s not how it works and I’ve agreed to the terms. To be honest, I’m actually growing to enjoy the procedure – short of the carpal tunnel issues for which I must be on guard.

In effect, this type of communication can be best analogized as a very slow moving conversation, especially since the policies require appropriate grammar, correct spelling, and avoiding emoticons and abbreviations (like “BTW” or “LOL”). The repercussions of having such time in between transactions allow one’s thoughts to drift, which lends itself to me making judgments — fair or otherwise — about who is on the other end, based entirely on how long it takes for a reply and what shows up when it happens.

With that as backstory, today someone logged in and began the conversation with the most ridiculously moronic questions.

“Really?” I thought, “Are you serious?”

Her query was so “beyond the pale,” that I first assumed I had snared a “troll.” (No, not the long-haired, full-bellied, naked toys of the seventies. Rather these are nasty individuals who enjoy annoying, frustrating, or insulting other people in cyberspace, merely because they can get away with it.)

Yet, with the passage of a few paragraphs of correspondence, I understood that the young woman on the other end wasn’t trolling, but was instead severely developmentally disabled. Obviously, her skill set allowed use of the system but her text was burdened with so many typos, it was near impossible to untangle, and the speed at which she replied would make a beginning typist feel like a thirty-year executive secretary. But most importantly, she couldn’t grasp even the simplest concepts.

[Read more…]

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